City of Brussels warns of ‘disproportionate’ rules for Airbnb –

The city of Brussels could be sued over its strict home-sharing rules after the European Commission said on Thursday (January 24th) the rules were disproportionate, in a decision hailed by US home-rental company Airbnb.

Cities around the world have taken steps to regulate short-term rentals and sites such as Airbnb to discourage landlords from taking their long-term properties off the market in favor of short-term stays.

Regulators, meanwhile, want to strike a balance between promoting the collaborative economy and maintaining the integrity of local communities.

The rules imposed by the Belgian capital do not distinguish between business or private rentals, large hotels, small bed & breakfasts and private room rentals, the EU executive said.

“The Belgian regulatory framework imposes disproportionate requirements which are not compatible with the Services Directive,” the Commission said. He said a simple central online registration system for accommodation providers would have sufficed.

She sent a letter of formal notice to the Belgian authorities, the first step in a procedure that could lead to legal proceedings and fines.

Airbnb, which has more than 1,000 listings in Brussels, said the city should follow other regions in Belgium with clear rules.

“While Flanders and Wallonia have adopted progressive and simple rules for home sharing, Airbnb hosts in Brussels currently face a confusing and cumbersome administrative process, which does not correspond to the way people share their accommodation. in modern Brussels,” he said.

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